Fungal Toenails

E. Charisse Dunn, D.P.M. -  - Foot and Ankle Surgeon

PGA Foot & Ankle P.A.

E. Charisse Dunn, D.P.M.

Foot and Ankle Surgeon & Podiatrist located in Palm Beach Gardens, FL

If you’re hiding your feet because of unattractive toenail fungus, you’re not alone. Toenail fungus can strike anyone whose feet are exposed to moist environments, from shared showers to wet grass. Podiatrist Dr. E. Charisse Dunn, of PGA Foot & Ankle P.A., has been successfully treating and preventing fungal toenails infections for her patients in the Palm Beach Gardens, Florida area for 20 years. Make your next trip to the beach a great one by calling or going online to book an appointment to address your toenail fungus.

Fungal Toenails Q & A

wWhat is toenail fungus?

If your toenails are thick, discolored, smelly, and possibly painful, it may be the result of a fungal infection. Fungal infections mainly occur due to a warm, moist environment, such as:

  • Shoes that cause your feet to be warm and sweaty
  • Walking barefoot in locker rooms
  • Walking barefoot outside in wet grass where fungus thrives

Because fungus is such a common organism, anyone is susceptible to the infection. In fact,  several people in the same family can get fungal infections at the same time when family members use the same nail clippers or towels, or share the same shower.

What causes fungal infections in toenails?

There are a variety of conditions that can cause nail changes, such as:

  • Fungus
  • Yeast
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Trauma to the nail
  • Circulatory problems: Diabetes

In order to identify the cause of the infection, Dr. Dunn takes a sample of your nail for confirmation.

Can toenail fungus be prevented?

The first order of business in preventing fungal infections is to control excessive moisture. You can accomplish this by:

  • Wearing 100% cotton socks
  • Changing into dry socks after any physical or sporting activity
  • Using moisture-absorbing foot powder inside your socks to keep your feet dry
  • Wearing shoes in public locker rooms and showers

Additionally, it’s important to check that your shoes fit properly. If possible, you should also avoid pointy-toed dress shoes that press your toes together.

How are fungal toenails treated?

Topical solutions are effective for early infections when your nail thickening is minimal, and your infection is superficial. With thicker nails and deeper fungal infections, Dr. Charisse Dunn typically prescribes oral medication after drawing the necessary blood work.

Another solution is laser treatment of fungal toenails, which can be used in conjunction with, or as an alternative to, oral antifungal therapy. Laser treatment is an excellent alternative for several reasons, such as:

  • It’s painless
  • It’s effective for both superficial and deep infections
  • It can be used on patients with any medical condition

It’s important to remember that fungal infections are often resolved but rarely cured, due to the nature of the organism. A daily regimen of topical antifungal therapy, antifungal spray or powders, and proper hygiene is necessary to achieve the best results.

To find out how you can combat unsightly toenail fungus, call or go online to book an appointment at PGA Foot & Ankle P.A.